In search of the perfect match to design her newly purchased apartment, a 25-year-old homeowner naturally found herself scrolling through Instagram. After discovering and falling in love with the beautiful work and style of Heju—a studio launched in 2014—she wrote to the 28-year-old founders, Hélène Pinaud and Julien Schwartzman. The homeowner and the interior designers immediately realized how much they had in common beyond their shared generation, and knew working together would be a smooth process.
“We met our client in the apartment and saw that we were on the same page in terms of inspiration and desire to create a minimal home,” remember Hélène and Julien. “Plus, she is an artist, so we knew that we would be able to go through our ideas and imagine a strong concept for this project. She wanted an apartment that doesn’t look like any other. We see this project as a mix of our style and hers!”
Located in a quiet area of the 19th arrondissement, close to the charming park of Buttes de Chaumont—a favorite spot in the city for many Parisians—the flat, which is spread over 970 square feet, features a perfectly balanced combination of Swedish and Mediterranean influences to echo the owner’s origins. “The objective of the renovation was to create a softer and more contemporary space,” say the interior designers, who are used to working with pure lines and minimalist volumes, and are naturally drawn to Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics.
“The apartment was in good condition, but it had a very strong ’90s style,” adds the duo. “We reviewed all the materials and transformed the atmosphere. We wanted to make the space clearer and the volumes simpler.”
“Our client absolutely wanted to have terrazzo countertop, so we chose one with pastel stones and then defined the color of the kitchen cabinets,” says Hélène and Julien. “We used a light blue and some white 3D tiles for the island to have a Nordic atmosphere that we decided to warm up with brass shelves to add a Mediterranean touch.”
After four months of design and the same period of work on-site, the project came to life just a few months ago, becoming the first dream home of the recently graduated artist, where she can relax and get inspired in a discreetly refined space.
“The apartment is both soft and bold with an arty style,” describe the interior designers. “Geometric shapes, such as arches and triangles, were also an important part of the design.” Original materials including porcelain stoneware tiles combined with birch plywood, pastel hues, and abstract volumes characterize this quiet apartment. Mastering the art of contrasting cold and warm elements, and feminine and masculine colors to shape timeless interiors, Hélène and Julien have already developed a unique visual language. “The architecture is a way to find concrete solutions to facilitate daily life but also to bring a little bit of poetry to it.”